Louis Francis Branca
Private family services will be held
Friday, June 29, 1928
Date of Death:
Friday, January 6, 2023
94 years old
Louis Francis Branca
Louis Francis Branca, 94, of Rochester, MN, died Friday, January 6, 2023.
Lou was born June 29, 1928, in St. Paul, MN to Alfred A. and Helen (Van Cleve) Branca. He grew up in West St. Paul and was a multi-sport athlete at South St. Paul High School, graduating in 1946. He then served in the U.S. Naval Service in Hawaii, followed by earning his teaching degree from the St. Cloud Teachers College. It was at St. Cloud TC that he met his wife, Mildred C. Thein. On August 17, 1953, they married in St. Clara Church in Clara City, MN.
Lou was a physical education teacher for over 30 years, serving in the school districts of Cleveland, MN, Faribault, MN, and Rochester, MN. He loved coaching high school baseball and football. He served as the head baseball coach at Rochester John Marshall for over 20 years, culminating in being inducted into the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Lou had many skills and interests. His first loves were family and faith, followed by sports, his lake cabin and woodworking. Lou excelled athletically, playing professional baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, pitching two seasons for the Duluth Dukes (MN) team.
He is survived by his wife, Millie, of 69 years; daughter Mary Branca Rosenow (Jim), sons Bill (Pat), Denny (Emilie) and Steve (Linda). He dearly loved his grandchildren: Joe (Amber), Tom (Autumn), Ellie (Steven), Julianne, Kristina, Olivia, Elena, Ali and Anna; and great-grandsons: Blake, Bradley, Westin and Luke.
Private services are being held for the immediate family. Memorials can be sent to the Rochester Youth Baseball Association or your favorite charity.
Send your condolences to the family of Louis Francis Branca.
At the family's request, Macken Funeral Home will publish your message on this website.
The family of Louis Francis Branca has received the following condolences.
Steve and Family,
My sympathies on our loss.
As you celebrate your Dad's life, I hope you know how many lives he touched and how many wonderful memories we have of him.
I remember him as a supremely confident baseball coach who always knew exactly what he was doing and instilled confidence in his players. If only we could have learned everything he had to teach. We came within one game of going to the State Tournament our senior year. I remember that he had all the seniors serve as captains. He was a great example and teacher. His sense of humor also meant a lot because he seemed so serious on the outside.
I always remember him as a gym teacher because he knew all the sports so well, but also loved to play. To this day, I remember him showing us about badminton in the old John Marshall gym with the walls up. I think he saw that some were not into it, so he got out on the court to take on one of the best athletes in the class and whipped up on him while Mr. Branca barely moved a step from shot to shot.
He was a talented, dedicated, interesting man who touched many lives. I'm sure you miss him desperately. I hope you are able to remember him with happiness as well.
With deepest sympathy, your friend,
Lou Branca Family,
I was saddened to read about the passing of Lou. May you have good memories to share with other family members especially the grandchildren and great grandchildren!
I remember coming to your home to see your nice “family room” and dining room with the benches! Lou did a good job providing for his family. I am sorry for Millie too. It’s a hard time and I pray for peace for her. Thinking of you and sending hugs,